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"[T]he first step a candidate can take to stop fossil fuels is to stop taking fossil fuel money," Resnick-Day wrote. (Photo: Marcus Donner/Greenpeace)

Greenpeace, Sanders Hold Ground Against Clinton in Fossil Fuel Feud

Green group and rival campaign respond to Clinton's claims that anyone is "lying" about her donations

Nadia Prupis

Environmental group Greenpeace has responded to Hillary Clinton's frustrated interaction with a climate activist on Thursday, when the former secretary of state said she was "sick of" the Bernie Sanders campaign claiming she has taken fossil fuel money to fund her presidential campaign.

"I do not have—I have money from people who work for fossil fuel companies," Clinton said after being confronted by Greenpeace activist Eva Resnick-Day at a campaign rally in New York. "I am so sick—I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me. I'm sick of it."

Resnick-Day followed up by publishing a blog post on the Greenpeace website explaining her actions, stating, "I care deeply about tackling climate change and I'm deeply concerned about the state of our democracy," before clarifying that she was not affiliated with Sanders' campaign.

"[T]he first step a candidate can take to stop fossil fuels is to stop taking fossil fuel money," Resnick-Day wrote. She continued:

That money matters when we hear great things about climate in Clinton’s speeches, but want to be sure she'll truly listen to the people when she is in office. For instance, she supports a Department of Justice investigation of ExxonMobil and yet she takes money from an Exxon lobbyist.

That level of coziness makes voters like me who care about climate change uncomfortable.

Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign doubled down on defense, stating that she "has not taken a dollar from oil and gas industry PACs or corporations. The simple fact is that the Sanders campaign is misleading voters with their attacks."

As the Huffington Post reported last year, Clinton's biggest campaign bundlers are fossil fuel lobbyists. Reporters Kate Sheppard and Paul Blumenthal wrote in July that "fossil fuel interests have pumped $3.25 million into the largest super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election cycle. The Clinton campaign has received donations from industry lobbyists including ExxonMobil's Theresa Fariello."

And as Greenpeace campaign director Molly Dorozenski pointed out on Thursday, Clinton is "conflating Greenpeace with the Sanders campaign, but we are an independent organization.... Earlier this year, we asked both Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders to sign our pledge to #fixdemocracy, and while Sanders signed, Clinton did not."

"We intend to continue to challenge all candidates to listen to the people, not their biggest donors," Dorozenski said.

Greenpeace was not the only voice to respond to the confrontation—Sanders did, too.

"If people receive money from lobbyists of the industry, I think you're receiving money from the industry," the Vermont senator told CBS This Morning in an interview Friday.

Host Charlie Rose noted that according to the political website FactCheck.org, Clinton's campaign has not received direct contributions from any corporations, including oil and gas companies.

"There's a difference—if you are a lobbyist for the fossil fuel industry and there are 50 of you and you make a contribution, that, to me Charlie, is a contribution from the fossil fuel industry," Sanders said. "That's different than saying you get it from Exxon Mobil."

Another climate group, 350 Action, jumped into the fray Friday by calling on all candidates to reject donations from fossil fuel interests.

"Voters who care about the health of our climate, our communities and our democracy have repeatedly asked Clinton to refuse fossil fuel money—after the way she responded yesterday, she needs to finally take the pledge and refuse donations from those who profit from destruction," said 350 Action spokesperson Yong Jung Cho.


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